Minimum Audible Angle

The just noticeable difference (jnd) in azimuth perceptible by a listener. Although dependent on both the individual, the type of sound source and the nature of the environmental ambience, under ideal conditions, most listeners can detect changes in angle of one degree when the source is straight ahead. This accuracy drops off as the source moves to the side of the head, or in the case of pure tones, when the frequency lies between 1500 and 2000 Hz.

See: Binaural Hearing, Differential Threshold. Compare: Echolocation, Cocktail Party Effect, Directivity.

Minimum audible angle between successive pulses of tone as a function of the frequency and the direction of the source measured for angles (bottom to top at left hand side) 0°, 30°, 60° and 75° (from Mills, "Auditory Localization", in Tobias, ed. Foundations of Auditory Theory, Academic Press, 1972, p. 310, used by permission).